The former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has withdrawn a petition against three members of parliament who ditched it to join Peoples’ Party (PP), but have returned to the party.
On June 8 , DPP petitioned the speaker to declare vacant seats of 45 MPs, who dumped the party in favour of PP. This was in accordance with Section 65 of the Constitution.
But Speaker of Parliament made the announcement in the chamber Monday that leader of the DPP in the house, George Chaponda had written the speaker withdrawing a petition against Ntchisi North MP Herbert Bimphi, Ntchisi North East MP Geoffrey Mbuzi and Lilongwe North West MP Fredrick Kamwangala.
The three have been joined on the journey back to the DPP by George Namatumbo, MP for Chiradzulu West, who has since written the speaker, informing him that he was going back to the DPP.
The four join Kasungu West MP Otria Moyo Jere who last week announce return to the DPP.
The development means that five MPs, four on the DPP petition, and one who was not on the petition have returned to the party.
In an interview outside the house, Chaponda said he expected more MPs from the remaining 41 to return to the party.
“Many more people are waiting in the peripheral. With the expiry of the seven day grace period, we expect the speaker to
act on our petition. It is in both our Constitution and our standing orders,” Chaponda said.
At the beginning of the current meeting of parliament, at least 103 MPs were sitting on government side, including DPP MPs and all UDF MPs.
Most of the MPs resigned from DPP and joined PP following the ascendance of Joyce Banda to the presidency following the sudden death of DPP leader and former state president the late Bingu wa Mutharika.
PP officials including treasurer general Brown Mpinganjira have said PP needs the MPs to help rebuild the country’s economy and repeal bad laws which were passed during president Bingu wa Mutharika’s reign.
Section 65(1) of the Constitution says: ” The Speaker shall declare vacant the seat of any Member of the National Assembly who was, at the time of his or her election, a member of political party represented in the National Assembly, other than by that member alone but who has voluntarily ceased to be a member of that party or has joined another political party represented in the National Assembly or has joined any other political party or association or organization whose objectives or activities are political in nature.”